Thursday, 10 March 2011

Baking Made Easy

I Can't Believe You Made That Cake
I had pre-ordered this book, as you know me I have a bit of a liking for baking books! Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascal published by Harper Collins 2011. It accompanies a TV series shown first on BBC2 here, and she is worth watching. She is a former model and now runs Ella’s Bakery in London. Lorraine is very enthusiastic and conveys how to do things in an easy and laid back way.

She has her feet firmly planted in classic baking, but she is also creative and adds modern touches here and there. The recipes all have a little introduction to set the scene. The layout is white and clean, good photography too. There isn’t a picture to go with every single recipe. I must tell you that the recipes are not all sweet either, there are lots of sweet recipes, but there are also many savoury ones.

Chapters are: * Breads * Cakes* Savoury Baking* Desserts and Patisserie* Dinner Party* Sweet Treats* and *Basics. The recipes from the series are in the book, which is good, as last year I was annoyed when a tie in cookbook didn’t have the recipes I bought the book for (but that’s another story…).

It’s a good book, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve made so far. Next on the to make list are Mini Tiramisu (cupcakes) and they look very good indeed I can tell you (!) and also her Big Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

A little taster of recipes are: Victoria Sandwich, Stout and Stilton Bread Rolls, Pear Tart Tatin, Pork Pies with Cider, Gluten Free Irish Cream Coffee Cake, Mojito Genoise, Sun Dried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers, Banana Loaf with Rum and Pecans and the only non baked recipe White Chocolate and Amaretti Cheesecake.
Here are my first makes:

I Can’t Believe You Made That Chocolate Cake
I sourced the cigarillos online, and I have to tell you they are not for everyday, as they are pricey, I was £18 (including P&P) for the amount I needed for the cake. Lorraine says you could use Cadbury Flakes too which would be another option. Though, even if you didn’t bother with the chocolate curl collar, this cake would still be good and worth making with just the cake, icing and raspberries on top. A great little chocolate cake recipe, moist and delicious. Recipe here.

Pumpkin and Rosemary Muffins
I made these to go with soup, and I just put them in cupcake cases which they stuck too! This is not what was suggested, and is my own fault. Pretty muffins, and a sweet- savoury pull from the honey, pumpkin and rosemary. Recipe here.

Hubby is the main flapjack muncher in our house and he liked them a lot, there is a little bit of ginger and lemon zest in them which adds a little depth of flavour without overtaking the actual flapjack. Recipe here.

Quick Chicken with Lemon Thyme and Butternut Squash
Quick, easy, and good. The gravy was really very delicious.
This is the only recipe for macaroons that I have made where you have not been instructed to blitz the sugar and ground almonds in a processor. I think the cooked shells looked a little rough because of this, but the flavour was good. I coloured mine dusky pink (and the colour came out ok!) and sandwiched them together with strawberry jam and whipped cream. Mmm. Recipe here.
Next Up: Cake Slice Bakers
Next Review: Baked New Frontiers in Baking


Rhyleysgranny said...

Everything looks gorgeous Kelly. That chocolate cake is quite a showpiece.

At Anna's kitchen table said...

KJ, I'm especially impressed with your chocolate cake and your macaroons, they look so professional! £18? Definitely for a special occasion! I'm going to keep a look out, see if there's anything else I could use instead.

julie said...

Hi KJ!

Everything looks delicious, especially the chocolate cake. I saw her short video on amazon and thought she looked friendly.

I'll be interested in knowing what you think of the Baked cookbook, since I have just received the second book and found it fascinating, but don't (yet!) have the first one.

Aveen said...

I borrowed the book from the library, have to say it's gorgeous. Make sure you try the breadsticks, they're fantastic! Those muffins look really tasty.

Jacqui said...

Chocolate cake looks amazing. I too am still trying to find the perfect macaroon recipe. Keep going you cook up a storm.

Lucy said...

I'm planning to make the 'I can't believe you made that cake' cake this week for a friends birthday. I was never planning on getting the fancy chocolate sticks. £18? Crikey, you can tell she lives in London if she expects us to pay that amount.

What do you think would be better...chocolate fingers or flakes? and if you did use flakes...would you chop them in half?

Kelly-Jane said...

Thank you for your comments.

Julie, it's gorgeous!

Lucy, I'd go with flakes, and yes halve them.


Aunty Bee said...

Could I come and live in your blog please. I found your blog, fall in love and then had to go back and read everything from the beginning. Love the cooking and baking and interesting comments.

Mrs. L said...

That chocolate cake is amazing! You did an awesome job. I think I'll have to look for this cookbook!

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